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I never had any problem finding serious gigs on freelancer.com. Advertise your rate (in my case 70-100$/h depending on the technology), without bowing down to the $10/h bids. Just the fact that you can write a grammatically correct sentence in your bid, with a few questions showing that you know what the problem is about, is enough to get you a solid gig. If people don't hire you because you are too expensive / think they can get away with a cheaper bid, you don't want to work for them. Now, there are obviously a lot of great programmers living in places with lower living costs, but they are already buried in projects anyway. I usually find a good "day" gig in about 1-2 h on freelancer. Do two or three of those, with clients who turn out to be solid, intelligent and paying promptly, and you most probably found a reliable pipeline of work.

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